Dear First Years,
Going from high school to university was probably the biggest stepping stone I have encountered to date, like many of the students reading this. So take all the wisdom I am about to impart; a someone who made it through to her second year successfully…!
The change in pace and the change in attitude at Uni is huge; to get through your first year you will need to increase your determination and get yourself disciplined. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself waking up hungover and severely behind in all of your classes; full of ragrets.
University is different to your previous studies, you won’t have teachers chasing after you if you don’t submit an assignment or if you don’t wake up for your exam, you’ll just find yourself back in the same class having to repeat. Not Fun.
It may sound daunting, but in all honesty, I would not go back to high school and trust me your university experience will trump everything you’ve experienced previously. To get through your first year and your whole degree you need to find a balance, maintain all aspects of your life and make sure you make time for yourself.
In summation, here is what I will tell my first-year self and all the ones that are starting out uni now:-
- Go to your lectures and use your subject outline to track where you are in the subject course. After the first few weeks you might feel you’ve lost the motivation to go to lectures, but trust me when I say this is probably the most valuable study time you could get. You’ll feel more confident about the subject content and even though once in a while you’ll find yourself zoning out and not listening it’s better than catching a sleep in. Another useful resource is your subject outline, it highlights the main topics within the subject and where you should be throughout the semester. USE IT! You won’t regret it when you are outside the exam room and you know what topics will be covered in the exam.
- Secondly, it’s all about balance! This is probably one of the most important aspects of being a university student. Ensure you allow yourself to have a social life, a work life and a study life. To thrive in life and in university you have to make sure you have put an equal amount of effort into every aspect. While it will take a bit of time to adjust, you feel eventually settle and start feeling content.
- Finally, enjoy what you’re learning. What you’re learning in university is going to assist you in your future endeavours. You’ve finally got a choice in what you’re learning and you have the opportunity to decide where you’ll be in the near future. For you to have a personally fulfilling life you need to enjoy what you’re doing, thus, through enjoying what you are studying
BONUS TIP: USE THE UTS RESOURCES! UTS provides students with a range of resources to assist you in your studies. Services such as HELPS, UTS careers, U:PASS and so much more are all at your disposal. SO, make the most of them and go and get that high distinction.
With all those pointers in mind, good luck! I bet you’ll smash through your first year, and I will see you on the other side!
A Second Year Student